13 thoughts on “8 Behaviors Often Mistaken For Depression

  • June 8, 2016 at 12:29 am

    I feel like a pest for commenting again but wanted to share a few thoughts. I have several of the traits listed…I isolate quite frequently, I wouldn’t say I “enjoy” sad music, books/articles but I AM somehow drawn to them. And, as a writer myself (I’ve written poetry and essays/short stories and a brief play) I remember offering a poem for my mother to read which was rare for me in and of itself and I was so hoping she’d praise my work! Instead of full on praise, I got “You write very well–but it’s so sad! I don’t like reading sad stuff.” So as a child, I felt I’d disappointed her and never showed her any further work—instead hearing positive remarks from teachers, church members, college professors and friends. In retrospect, I think I was hoping my mom would pick up on the sadness and be curious enough to ask WHY, but denial was too strong. I have also been told I am “too serious” and/or “you need to lighten up more.” But I am an introvert so I think that explains at least some of it.
    On the other hand, I DO recall times when I’ve actually BEEN depressed and denied it to a professional. Why? (This will sound strange no doubt…) Because despite my misery, it seemed “normal” to me after having suffered from it for a while. Also, I think another major factor is I’d become so used to shutting DOWN my feelings that I had difficulty identifying WHAT i was feeling and sometimes claimed to feel nothing at all. Thanks again for your work!

  • June 8, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    I think this is a well written and interesting article. I found in my life that some people simply cannot stand that I am somewhat less than enthusiastic and prefer to keep my emotions under check- they have even gone out of their way to get me “riled up”.
    While reading I kept thinking “Bingo!”- as in right on!

  • June 8, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    I don’t know that it’s a ‘behaviour’, but I have been permanently affected by a terrible thing my flatmates did to me when I was 19. They got together behind my back and made me go to an intervention at Student Counselling. When I got there, it turned out that they were trying to have me accused of depression because I was too fat and unattractive, and they felt that if only I were sane, I would realise how inappropriate I looked. They had recorded and twisted all kinds of daily interactions for weeks, leaving out the parts about all the housework I had been left to do, all the money they owed me and all the times they’d left me out.

    So to this list, I would add non-conformity and security. It wasn’t that I didn’t know what ‘the standard’ was; I just didn’t believe it had to be law — and I was happy in my own skin, even if others did not like the look of it.

    • December 20, 2016 at 12:53 am

      That sounds terrible! I think you can be at any size you want and still be able to love and be comfortable with it. They are the ones who have a problem with how you look and they need to change their point of view and be more accepting about other people no matter who they are, where they come from etc. I agree about non-conformity and security. But these traits should be celebrated. And I think you should burn bridges with people who thinks otherwise. 🙂

  • June 9, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Grief. It looks like depression but it’s a totally other thing.

  • June 9, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    I was with you until you included anhedonia in this list. Anhedonia is a total loss of interest in pleasurable activites. If that isn’t a sign of depression, then I don’t know what is. I have chronic MDD and struggle with anhedonia a lot. I know I’m going downhill again when I’m not interested in anything anymore.

    • June 16, 2016 at 10:37 am

      Hi Kathleen,
      Someone with a personality disorder could exhibit anhedonia-like symptoms. For example, someone with schizoid personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, and antisocial personal disorder can exhibit emotions or behaviors that make them appear disinterested in just about everything. If it is not depression, it could be a personality disorder.

      • June 16, 2016 at 10:52 am

        but you didn’t say “personality disorder” anywhere in your article. It was misleading. Sorry if I sound like I took that too personally.

  • June 10, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    I found this article to be very enlightening. I personally think that someone experiencing sorrow is considered depressed. Being depressed does not have to be a long term disorder. It can definitely be short term. The other behaviors made sense that they would not only relate to someone with depression but also to someone that is completely normal. I personally posses a few of the behaviors that were mentioned like maturity and isolating myself. I am an only child and behave differently than people with siblings, however, just because I behave a certain way does not mean that I have depression.

    • June 16, 2016 at 10:35 am

      Thank you April! I appreciate your kind comment. 🙂
      I do agree that because you act a certain way, that doesn’t mean something is wrong. We, as a society, often forget this point as we are so motivated by “mental health topics.” It’s a wonderful thing that we, as a society, are focusing more on mental health than previously. But we must be careful not to pathologize everything and everything.

  • June 12, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    On reactivity… I tend to not see things as good or bad, which means that I tend not to react to news.

    When someone say they’re pregnant, my 1st reaction is: “Is it on purpose?”. If they say yes, then I’ll say I’m happy for them. When someone get what they want, I’m happy for them. When people come with a bad news, I ask them how they feel and then ask what their plan is. a bad news can be good is you lose a job that you weren’t excited about. Past the shock of the news and the fact that they had no control over it, people might actually find something better.

    I tend to think in patterns, so the details on the path are a bit irrelevant to me. How the person is approaching the good news and the bad are more important.

  • June 16, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    I found your article to be most interesting. I am a parent of a 24 year old man. In some instances one may consider 24 grown, however my son seems to be mature and immature at the same time. My concern has been from time to time whether or not he suffers from depression. Even when he was younger I used to ask him when was he going to get in the game of life.
    For the most part he stays to himself most of the time but he also say he prefer it. He doesn’t get too excited about much. Whenever we talk, he is intelligent and thinks about any matter before he speaks. Of course I asked if he were depressed and he always says no. I am concerned because he attended college for little over a year. He has no intention of ever returning. He works part time and works on his music, which he says he want to pursue for a living😬. But with a personality that is is subdued, I can’t imagine him performing. Do you have any suggestions.
    A Concerned Mother

  • June 17, 2016 at 10:06 am

    I have MDD (in remission right now…hurrah!) and OCD personality disorder so if I am not careful I tend to see those types of symptoms in others and assume that they suffer as I do. However, in a strange twist of fate, both my husband and my daughter are very laid back, even keeled, mature, quiet, reserved in their emotions, accepting etc. Neither are depressed but I worried for a long time about my daughter until I realized (and was very thankful) that she takes after her dad instead of me! And as a bonus, I don’t drive them nuts with some of my weird behaviors. Win, win!


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